Hughes: Maximise our opportunities

By SFC Media time Fri 19 Oct Bournemouth v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes has spoken about the keys to overcoming Bournemouth ahead of Southampton's trip to their south coast opponents this weekend.

Saints visit Vitality Stadium on Saturday, as they look for a second away win of their Premier League campaign.

Bournemouth have enjoyed an excellent start to the season, sitting in sixth place after eight games, but Hughes believes there are opportunities for his side to get at them.

"The key against Bournemouth is that, obviously, they play a very high tempo game, they've got a decent amount of pace in their team and a lot of strength and power, and you've got to match that first and foremost," he said.

"You always feel against Bournemouth, because of the way they play – they're a little expansive, that's the way they play – that, at some point, you'll get good opportunities against them, so we've just got to maximise those.

"I think on occasions when we've been in the ascendancy against teams we haven't quite seen them off when we've had that momentum with us.

"If you score during those periods then it's difficult for the opposition to come back. We want to make sure we recognise those moments and recognise when we're really in the box seat and make sure we take the game away from them."

Hughes and Saints head into the match with great memories of facing Cherries, having beaten them 2-1 in a crunch meeting at St Mary's last April.

"Last year was a really important game," he said. "Thinking back to it, there was a huge amount of significance on it.

"We couldn't just get a draw out of it, that seemed like it wouldn't have been enough, it was one of those games we had to win.

"Maybe not the same circumstances now, but I think we've still got to approach it in the same way, in that it's a game that we should feel we can win.

"There's no reason why we can't. They're in good form, we accept that and respect that, but given what we're capable of and our capabilities as a team I think we can go there and really give it a go."

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